NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is approaching its third encounter with the Sun, and on May 6, 2019, the final 22GB transmission of planned science data, collected during the first two encounters, was successfully downlinked by the mission team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. This surprised the team because it was 50% more data than they estimated would be downlinked by this point in the mission. Read more for a video and additional information.
Trying to contain the plastic waste that eventually makes its way to shared rivers, oceans and ecosystem today is a major challenge we face today. Eventually, long-term solutions must involve finding alternatives to plastic, but until that happens, there’s Loop Industries. This Quebec, Canada-based company has an innovative up-cycling technology, which uses a process called depolymerization that requires no heat or pressure to deconstruct plastic waste. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA
It’s true, Spanish scientist Juan Carlos Izpisua and his team has managed to create the world’s first monkey-human chimera in a China-based laboratory. Estrella Nunez, a biologist at the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM), claimed they injected human stem cells into monkey embryos to grow organs for transplantation. The monkey embryos were genetically modified to inactivate the genes necessary for forming organs and injected human cells that are capable of generating any type of tissue. Read more for a video about a similar experiment and additional information.
Fionn Ferreira devised a method to remove microplastics, or small bits of plastic less than 5 millimeters long that accumulate in wastewater before filtering into larger bodies of water likes rivers and oceans, by using a liquid invented by NASA, called ferro-fluids. This idea was introduced at the Google Science Fair, and managed to impress enough to win the competition, along with its $50,000 prize. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: AFP via Twisted Sifter
A freak summer hailstorm left Guadalajara, Mexico buried in up to six feet of ice Sunday. Fortunately, only damaged homes and cars were reported and no human injuries. The ice tall was enough to cover vehicles’ wheels, and many suggested that climate change may be the cause of the ice storm. Local officials also reported flooding and fallen trees, as the storm hit very quickly, between about 01:50 (06:50 GMT) and 02:10 local time, when the air temperature dropped suddenly from 22C (72F) to 14C (57F). Read more for two videos and additional information.
Classified as 2006 QQ23 and measuring 1,870 feet in diameter, this Empire State Building-sized asteroid buzzed Earth on July 25, coming within 45,000 miles of our planet. NASA’s Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) computes the orbits of known near-Earth objects to determine if they have any chance of striking the planet at some point in the future, any any with a minimum approach distance of less than 0.05 astronomical units and potentially measure more than 460 feet in diameter are deemed “potentially hazardous.” Read more for two videos and additional information.
We’ve experienced many full moons this year, whether it be the “Super Blood Moon” or “Full Worm Supermoon,” but July 31st marks a rare occurrence for Earth’s natural satellite — a phenomenon known as a Black Moon. The rare celestial event is set to occur Wednesday in North America, marking the first occurrence since 2016, and the rest of the planet will experience this phenomenon on August 30th. The Black Moon is a term used to represent the second new moon of a month, which rarely happens outside of leap years, as lunar cycles largely take 29 days to complete. Read more for a video news report and additional information.
Scientists have created robotic contact lenses that are controlled by small eye movements. By simply double blinking, the wearer will be able to zoom in and out on command. Rather than be controlled manually or be pre-programmed, these lenses mimic the natural electric signals in the human eyeball that are active even when the eye itself is closed. The research team at University of California San Diego harnessed this natural charge to control the lens. Read more for another picture and additional information.
Photo credit: Consequence of Sound
To The Stars Academy, an organization co-founded by former Blink 182 band member Tom DeLonge, claims to have acquired exotic materials from “unidentified vehicles”. Apparently, they’ve examined the material and concluded that its structure as well as composition “are not from any known existing military or commercial application,” according to Steve Justice, current Head of Technology and Aerospace at To The Stars Academy and former head of Advanced Systems at Lockheed Martin’s ‘Skunk Works’. Read more for the pictures and additional information.
Photo credit: Ken Kiefer via IEEE Spectrum
Think of Aquanaut as a real-life underwater Transformers robot, as it can turn from autonomous electric submarine to a humanoid-like machine. It’s designed for deep-sea repairs and other tasks that traditional robots may struggle with that are too dangerous for human divers. Currently, it’s limited to swimming pool tests, but the ultimate goal is ocean expeditions and active deployment, where it will be used to service deep-sea components of oil and gas-mining rigs. Read more for two videos and additional information.